Ever since Delta and Virgin Atlantic announced their tie-up it would have been the holy grail to again book Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flights without a fuel surcharge. However when I posted in September – I could only find a couple of seats for the ENTIRE YEAR that showed availability bookable with Delta Skymiles.
This has changed now!
Delta Skymiles devalue for trips taken in 2014 in 2 tiers. The highest tier is available now for trips after June 1st 2014. However for some reason that is also the date lots of Virgin Atlantic awards are available.
You can look up Virgin Atlantic destinations here and award availability through the Fling Club website. Earlier last year most flights that showed at Flying Club DID NOT show for delta.com or call center agents as available now 95% DO.
I have found that Upper Class award availability is very good on these routes:
Usually the best way to maximize the time in the air (if that's your thing) is to use Delta Skymiles for trips to Africa from the West Coast of the US which give you several legs.
However Delta agents can be rather strict with layovers and MPM rules for Delta Skymiles awards.
I just booked an award for June 2014 to Europe using Virgin Atlantic, Alaska and Aeroflot. Aeroflot has recently put their A330 with angled lie-flat in business on this route – which is probably the best product for this route.
– Delta does NOT add a fuel surcharge to Virgin Atlantic flights but for Aeroflot flights
– Since Virgin Atlantic almost exclusively operates out of London you will have to pay the UK AP Departure Tax even if you are just connecting! The Delta agents were not able to waive this since the ticket uses multiple carriers through London. I think it's bad info but I haven't found a way to convince them otherwise yet.
– Theoretically you can book all legs with delta.com without going through an agent but delta.com did time out on me several times
– Worse some flights show available on delta.com in Business Class for Virgin Atlantic but if you go through the Booking workflow they suddenly are only available in Economy
Even now that Delta Skymiles are of less value I consider an award in Virgin Upper Class and flights all over Europe quite good value.
Picture courtesy of trendygirltravels.com